The Government of Norway has pledged to provide continued support to survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in the Southern Region districts of Malawi.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi, Ingrid Marie Mikelsen, made the pledge when she visited Masenjere Camp under Traditional Authority Ngabu in the Chikwawa district.
Mikelsen said the support to the survivors is in response to the call by President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera to local and international organizations to assist Malawi in responding to the devastating effects of the cyclone.
She observed the serious damages caused by the cyclone and emphasized the need for immediate intervention to help people return to their normal daily living conditions.
“This is a humanitarian concern, and as global citizens, we need to support it. Though Norway is a faraway country, we are glad that Norwegian Church Aid was on the ground with the people immediately when the disaster happened, assessing where necessary,” Mikelsen said.
Mikelsen stated that Norway has released $6 million (approximately MK6 billion) to assist Malawi in agriculture, which will be evident in such circumstances.
Additionally, the Norwegian Government has provided $2 million to be channeled to UNICEF and the World Food Program.
She stressed the importance of being prepared for future cyclones, which are expected to occur every year.
Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE) Executive Director, Christie Banda, highlighted their efforts to provide support with funding from Norwegian Church Aid and DanChurchAid.
FOCESE aims to reach 3,000 women and girls in four camps, providing messages to reduce gender-based violence, promote sexual and reproductive health rights, and prevent cholera.
Sophie Kennedy, a form four student at Dzumira CDSS, expressed her gratitude for the support she received at the camp, where she lacked basic necessities after her house fell during the cyclone.
Kennedy appealed for more support to travel back to school and receive scholastic materials such as notebooks.
Havard Hovdhaugen, Country Director for Norwegian Church Aid Malawi, assured that the government of Norway, through Norwegian Church Aid, is implementing a lot of activities in Chikwawa in response to Cyclone Freddy, saying they have been present before, during, and after the cyclone to assist the people of Chikwawa.
Senior Chief Ngabu of Chikwawa stressed that the people at the camp are facing numerous challenges, including a lack of food and other basic amenities, due to the cyclone.
FOCESE’s response, supported by NCA and DCA, provides dignity kits to over 300 beneficiaries, covering SRHR services, gender-based violence, and mitigating cholera response in the district.
At the event, FOCESE, CARD, and NCA/DCA donated 500 dignity kits to adolescent girls, and pregnant and lactating women at Mandele Camp (Dolo Primary School) in the area of Senior Chief Ngabu.
The camp has 350 households with a total of 1010 people, comprising 678 women and 435 men.
Chikwawa District Commissioner Nardin Kamba, Chikwawa District Council Chairperson Khofati Malunga, and Traditional Authority Ngabu were among the recognizable delegates present.